. Due to its low capital cost, groundwater is the most preferred source of water in India. According to an estimate, groundwater accounts for nearly 80 per cent of the rural domestic water needs, and 50 per cent of the urban water needs in India. However, a variety of land and water- based human activities including over exploitation and unscientific extraction are polluting this reliable and safe source of water,making it unsafe and unfit for human use.
70% of India’s water resources are contaminated with one or more heavy metals and chemicals such as Arsenic, Uranium, Fluoride, Nitrate etc. Other reasons of groundwater contamination are:
Inland salinity in ground water is prevalent mainly in the arid and semi-arid regions such as Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab etc. It is also caused due to practice of surface water irrigation without consideration of ground water status.
Withdrawal of fresh ground water from coastal aquifers may result in intrusion of saline water in coastal aquifers. E.g. Problem of salinity ingress has been noticed in Minjur area of Tamil Nadu and Mangrol – Chorwad- Porbander belt along the Saurashtra coast.
Issues in Tackling Groundwater Contamination and Pollution
- Ground Water Board (CGWB) and state groundwater agencies lack adequate staff to carry out their
- There are a few observation stations in the country that cover all the essential parameters for water quality and hence the data obtained are not decisive on the water quality
- The SPCBs perform the dual functions of monitoring pollution and enforcing pollution control This creates a disincentive for them to perform the first function meaningfully.